HydroxyEthy Cellulose (HEC for short) is a non-ionic soluble cellulose ether, both soluble in cold and hot water, with thickening, suspension, adhesion, emulsification, film-formation, water retention, protective colloids and other properties, widely used in coatings, cosmetics, oil drilling and other industries.
HEC is a white to light yellowish, oderless and tastless powder, readily soluble in hot or cold water to form a viscous gel solution. When pH in solution is within 2 to 12, the solution is quite stable.
Since HEC group is nonionic one in water solution, it won't be reacted with other anions or cations and insensitive to the salts. But HEC molecule is capable of generating esterification, etherification and acetal reaction, so it is possible to make it insoluble in water or improve its properties. HEC also has good film-forming ability and surface activity.